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Salmon Lemon Bowl
Michelle Rodriguez / Spoon

 

On March 10th, I turned three years since becoming pescatarian. I still remember the very last red meat I ate, Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza. I know not many people know what a pescatarian is so let me explain. A pescetarian eats everything except for red meats and chicken. So, I still eat eggs, dairy, honey, and seafood. It is almost like being vegetarian, but vegetarians do not eat seafood. There are also many different kinds like semi vegetarian (still eats chicken and all of the above except for red meat), flexitarians (they don’t restrict themselves from eating these meats but they don’t eat them as often as someone who is not in a diet like this), and vegans (they do not eat any product that comes from animals, not even honey). 

 

I became a pescatarian when I was a junior in high school. The reason why I became a pescatarian was because I started feeling very grossed out by red meat (I never really ate pork, but beef started grossing me out very badly). Chicken was a little harder to give up, but I felt like I needed to. Back in sophomore year of high school, my English teacher showed us a video of how they treated chickens before they were killed gruesomely, and it had made me cry. They get treated so badly. Not only did beef gross me out but raising cattle is not good for the planet. Methane is released in cows’ manure which affects the ozone layer (the layer that protects us from the sun’s damaging rays). I am not the kind of person that tries to convince people to change their health habits but whenever someone asks me anything regarding my lifestyle, I explain the truth. I do not like it when people think that whenever I talk about what I eat, it means I am trying to persuade them. That is not what I am doing, I am educating them on my health habits, and I am explaining my reasons for doing it. 

 

It is hard being pescatarian and Mexican. Mexican food is so delicious but most popular dishes like tamales, tacos, menudo, etc. have meat that I cannot eat so you can imagine how my aunts and uncles look at me when I refuse to eat the food. When it first started, my family did not understand. They would forget and I would also feel bad for rejecting my family’s food. It is hard for my family to understand why I do it and they sometimes think I am lying when I tell them how long it has been. But I think that by now, they are a lot more understanding than they used to be, and I am thankful for that. Especially my parents, it was hard for them at first because we would go eat out and sometimes I would not eat with them because my parents love their red meat and chicken but now, they understand that I will not change, that I believe in this. I am glad that they understand that. 

 

I always get asked if I would ever go back to eating red meats and chicken, but I do not think so. Yes, I have cravings like barbacoa, flautas, mole, etc. but I know that if I go back I will probably get sick. And honestly, this diet has become a part of me. Whenever someone asks me to tell them about myself, I always add that I am pescatarian. I never thought I would make it this far, but I am very proud of myself.

Senior at New Mexico State University that's majoring in Psychology with two minors in Spanish and Journalism. I spend too much time shopping, watching TV shows, listening to podcasts about breakups, spoiling my cat Juno, photographing every detail of my life and scrolling through TikTok. Writing is my thing and I hope it makes you laugh, feel understood, or is helpful to you.
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